Leaving the Midlands to go south of Hobart to The End of the Road
After a a very comfortable day in conversation and catching up with old friends, we drove back to Launceston for three days. We felt easy about leaving our Quantum in the camping area beside Lake Dulverton at Oatlands.
We returned Wednesday afternoon to have a look at the old Callington Mill at Oatlands.
Thursday morning was a wet and windy day so we packed up early and headed south. We took the A1 to Hobart and then the A6 down to Cockle Creek. We stopped for breakfast at the camping ground on the foreshore at Franklin.
We had planned to stay the night there but as the day was young and the weather was rain forecasted for the day, we decided to travel onto Cockle Creek the most southerly road in Australia. We took some pictures along the way at Dover, Southport and at the end of the road at Cockle Creek.
Here are some pictures of our camping ground at Cockle Creek.
The bridge over Cockle Creek is due to be closed to all traffic with the exceptions of locals and National Parks officers in December and this has raised the ire of many people/
We walked down to the Whale Sculpture on the beach. Near the National Parks station there is a sign saying End of the Road as this is the most southerly street in Tasmania.
ON Saturday we broke camp early and headed for Lune River to catch the Ida Bay Tourist Train. On the way we passed through the tiny community of Catamaran.
The Ida bay Railway is the last operating bush tramway in Tasmania and also has the distinction of being the most southerly railway in Australia. The 2'0" gauge line was constructed in 1922 to carry limestone from quarries south east of the Lune River to a Wharf at Brick Point on Ida Bay.
After World War II changes were made to the operation. New workshops, engine shed and workman's quarters were constructed beside Cockle Creek road. These facilities now form the operational headquarters of the line. Five Malcolm Moore petrol locos were acquired from the Army surplus so that the last of the steam locos could be retired.
1950 saw a new quarry closer to the Lune River so transport was changed by filling steel or wooden boxes with limestone and placing them onto four wheel wagons for transport to the wharf. Loaded trains of 12 wagons were kept in check by over-ride brakes connected to the wagon couplings. The carriage of limestone went to trucks in 1975.
In 1977 the Tasmanian Govt purchased the railway and rolling stock. It began as a tourist attraction on 20 December 1977.
The railway was considered unsafe in 2002 and closed. New owners took over in January 2005 and implemented an intensive maintenance program.
The two hour return trip takes in the sights of Ida Bay through to Deep Hole. At Deep Hole, you can look across to Bruny Island and the southern most town of Southport.
We stayed at the Tahune Air Walk on Saturday night as we wanted to do some of the forest walks and then the Tahune Air Walk when it opened at 9.00am. This camp was one of our best so far with access to facilities and the break of a new sunny day.